Kuba Lele drum Congo „The cultures of south Zaire , east Angola and the north-west province of Zambia are mostly characterized by various influential royal dynasties.
The best-known drums of the region come from the Kuba kingdom, situated between Kasai and Sankuru.
Their skins are attached using a characteristc technique.
A strip of leather is placed around the top of the body and nailed to it;
the skin is then stitched to the leather strip.Particularly elaborate instruments have a handle on the body carved in the shape of a hand,
above which is often a face. According to Olga Boone, the ornaments
can be interpreted as signs of an old custom, whereby a distinguished
individual could formerly only be accepted into the company of warriors
on producing the hand of his slaughtered enemy (Olga Boone - Les tambours du Congo Belge et du Ruanda-Urundi 1951, p.44).
Such instruments only ever belong to the king or to one of the regional chieftains."
excerpt from the book:
Andreas Meyer - Afrikanische Trommeln West- und Zentralafrika,
Berlin 1997 p.243